Rancho Seco Howard Ranch Trail is located in southeast Sacramento County. The landscape includes vernal pools, seasonal wetlands, riparian and marsh habitat, wildflowers and great views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east.
Vernal pools are the home of fairy shrimp, tadpole shrimp, and the California Tiger Salamander, although we didn't see any on this trip in late March. When the pools evaporate, they are ringed with wildflowers. We were a little too early to see the best displays, but were able to enjoy their beginning.
This is a 7-mile trail and not for made for the weary of body. It is fairly level, but doesn't offer the greatest views of the pools from the north side. We were too pooped to make it all the way around and (our photographer - me) had to leave the trail to take pictures of a few.
The day was beautiful. Low 70's with a slight breeze. We certainly got our $4 gate fee worth as we walked 4-5 miles with a number of rests. The binoculars were handy for bird watching and the close-up lens for flowers.
The poppy photos at the end were taken in the backyard.
Categories & Keywords
Keywords:Rancho Seco, california, central valley, lake, power plant, ranch, recreation, spring, vernal pool, wildflowers